Philip Braaker

I made my first steps into science at the University of Bayreuth, where I was hooked by observing the regeneration of the Mauthner axon upon axonal lesion paired with the reestablishment of the escape behavior. During my Masters in biochemistry and molecular biology, the elite network of Bavaria offered me the possibility to look over my biology plate into ENB biological physics and sent me further, to the Australian regenerative medicine institute (EMBL Australia/ Monash University) to experience new optical techniques and to study muscle regeneration in zebrafish. After this short muscle excursion, I came back to Bavaria studying the effect of transcriptional regulation by non-coding RNAs during zebrafish neurogenesis. An interesting project combining RNA chemistry, computational approaches and neuroscience. An explosive mixture which has provided thrilling inside into neuronal development. With this mixture of different fish related experiences, I’m now at the University of Edinburgh focusing on active myelination in zebrafish spinal cord.

My experiences are still limited especially when it come to the array of model organisms I’ve been mainly working with, the zebrafish. Being interested in neuroscience, developmental biology and regenerative medicine, I came often at a point where the understanding from a biology/ biochemistry view ends. To really overcome this boundaries, you it is essential to communicate with someone, who is raised “on another plate” and can explain you, what you are facing and how to overcome possible obstacles. During my time in the ENB Biological Physics I experienced the value of the close and personal relationship between different scientific fields. A value that seems to me essential to make the next step in neuroscience and to correctly deal with high throughput and super resolution data sets. Zenith is the next level in terms of interdisciplinary relations, reaching from bio back grounds (me side) through engineering further to physicians/mathematicians. This highly reactive mixture of knowledge and expertise captured me from the first second and I can’t wait to contribute myself to ZENITH.